In the Headlines news
The August 24 episode of "Babbage", a podcast from The Economist about science and technology news, reports on an worrisome new Russian web-site, FindFace.ru. This website allows you to input a picture of a face and do a search for that person, or someone who looks like that person, on VK.com, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. The website boasts of a 70% accuracy rate.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more integrated in our daily lives: AI agents might decide if you get a bank loan, or if your job application will ever reach human eyes. Not everyone is comfortable with this trend, since we don't always know exactly how the AI comes to its decision. AI learns from existing data to predict future data, but its inner workings can be a mystery even to the AI's programmers. That's a problem if the AI is making life or death decisions, as it would in missile systems or unmanned drones.
Organized by the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) office at McGill University, Community Engagement Day (CED) aims celebrate, expand on, and build new lasting relationships between McGill and the greater Montreal community, through offering projects and activities in support of and collaboration with community organizations. This year’s CED will be held on and around September 29th, 2016. Register for a project now at http://www.cedmcgill.com/projects from August 15th to September 18th!
There is a dark corner of the Internet where hackers sell their software. The process unfolds in three steps.
What causes depression? Of course, life circumstances such as traumatic events, severe stress or grief play a role, but heredity studies have shown that a genetic predisposition to depression is equally important as environmental triggers . Until very recently, though, the genes that underpin such a predisposition have proven elusive.
Phishing messages typically get 5-10% response rates, but a new system has boosted its rate to 40%. John Seymour and Phil Tully, two data scientists from the security company ZeroFOX, presented their system SNAP_R at Black Hat, a Las Vegas conference on cyber-security, on August 4. SNAP_R uses a deep neural net to study a person's past tweets and then mimics that person's writing style using a Markov model, generating a phishing tweet. So far, there is no reason to think that criminals are using a similar system, but Seymour and Tully's work show how it might be done.
Online bullying and trolls are the darker side of social media. Twitter's Chief Executive Officer stated in a February 2015 memo that he wanted to make it a corporate priority to detect abuse and hate speech on Twitter.
The Gatineau native and McGill University student was named the first Canadian winner of the Infiniti Engineering Academy competition on Thursday. That earns him a yearlong paid internship in Europe, with his time split evenly between the Infiniti Research Centre in Enstone, England, and the Renault Formula One racing team, which has its headquarters in Cranfield, England. The Gazette
Autour combines GPS, Google Maps, public transit and other data with ambient sound to provide descriptions of businesses, landmarks and services near the user. CTV La Presse + CIRA news release
"These games are built by humans and therefore they contain all the biases of humans." -- Geography professor Rene Sieber. CBC The Current
A team of researchers in the Netherlands has developed the means to store data at the atomic level. This technique would allow 502 terabytes of data to fit into one square inch. According to the authors, "[t]ranslating the two-dimensional storage density presented here to three dimensions, would ... allow the storage of the entire US Library of Congress in a cube 100 µm wide." At the moment, the memory array can operate up to a temperature of 77 K (about -210 C), meaning that the technology would be restricted to data centres capable of maintaining such temperatures.
An item in today's CBC News reports on towns in Labrador West that are repositioning their economies for the 21st Century. These local economies once relied on mining minerals but are now housing data centres. The cheaper power and cooler air of the area make them ideal for data warehousing, since such centres use a lot of electricity and cause machines to heat up. Great North Data, a company based out of St.
"Reut Gruber, a psychologist who is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at McGill University, where she is director of the Attention Behavior and Sleep Lab, said that there is a close association between sleep and a wide range of cognitive functions, including attention, executive function and memory. When children go to school, 'they need to pay attention and plan and follow instructions, all of which fall under executive function, which is very much affected by sleep,' she said."
Donald Trump’s speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention was notable for its tone… That is the conclusion of a new analysis by McGill University [Political Science] PhD student Denver McNeney. Washington Post